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Walt Disney’s Death Telegram

Here’s an unique piece of Disneyana. The un-happiest letter on Earth. Collector Philippe Videcoq is currently selling (on eBay) a very rare and unusual item: the original, complete telegram sent by Roy Disney to notify worldwide Disney offices the day after Walt’s death.

This is the original copy forwarded by Disney’s London office to their Paris branch, and received at 4:46pm on December 16, 1966. It starts with: “Please convey the following statement by Roy Disney to all employees and associates – The death of Walt Disney is a loss to all the people of the world” and ends with: “Private family funeral services. No flowers.” It is a very moving homage to Walt and his career and honestly states: “There is no way to replace Walt Disney“.

The sale ends this coming Wednesday. You can read the entire 6-page telegram by clicking each thumbnail below:

  • mail guy


  • Scarabim

    Still a bummer after all these years…and look who’s running the company now. Hardly a replacement for Walt Disney. Roy was right.

  • Sadly, the Mineral King and Progress City projects naver came to be, but the legacy lives on at Walt Disney World in Florida.

  • Thanks for posting the entire telegram; it was very moving. Perhaps the Disney Family Museum should bid on this, it would be appropriate in the tribute room.

  • Osgood

    Curious that Roy did not refer to Disney employees as ‘cast members’, back in 1966. Wonder when that policy came into being?

    • David Breneman

      Didn’t the term “cast member” only refer to the people who worked at Disneyland (and later, the other parks)?

      • Jeff Kurtti

        During the Eisner regime, the erroneous reference to all Disney employees as “Cast Members” began. “Cast Members” was once logical and specific to those Disney employees whose jobs were a component of the “onstage” areas of Disneyland, as their job was a public component of the “show.” Other employees, with the exception of “Imagineers,” were simply “Disney Employees,” such title required no enhancement or clubby classification.

  • Toonio

    Someone should have tattooed this on Michael Eisner’s chest.

    • Scarabim

      And Bob Iger’s forehead.

  • Proof that Walt’s body wasn’t frozen.

  • Still sad.